An important early 20th century British Columbia (Canada) painter, draftsman and leader in the art community, Thomas William Fripp was born in London, England; emigrated to British Columbia in 1893; and died in Vancouver where he had lived since 1904. Although he briefly worked as a photographer (c.1904 – 1906) and has painted in oils, his primary medium was watercolor. His subjects were the landscapes, forests, rivers, mountains, lakes and coastlines of southern British Columbia – from Vancouver Island to the Rocky Mountains. His style was Realism. AskART has several excellent illustrations of his work; Mount Lefroy is a particularly good example.
Fripp’s art education includes studies in London with his father George Arthur Fripp; as well as at the St. John’s Wood Art School and at the Royal Academy Schools (1887 – 1890). He also studied and traveled in Switzerland, Austria, and northern Italy (Venice, Florence and Sienna). He was a very active member of the British Columbia artist community; in 1909, he founded the first art society in the province – the British Columbia Society of Fine Arts. He served as its president from 1909 to 1916 and from 1926 to 1931. Fripp was also a member of the Art, Historical and Scientific Association; the Sketch Club; the Palette and Chisel Club, and the Island Arts and Crafts Society of Victoria.
In addition to exhibiting with the above artist organizations, his work was included in shows with the Ontario Society of Artists between 1914 and 1925; at the Art Association of Montreal (now Montreal Museum of Fine Arts) between 1915 and 1918; with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1922 and 1930; at the Canadian National Exhibition (Toronto) in 1930; and at the National Gallery of Canada in 1931.
Posthumously, his works were the subject of a one man shows at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1952 and at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (B.C.) in 1983. They were also included in the 1958 British Columbia centennial exhibition “100 Years of B.C. Art” at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Thomas Fripp’s paintings are frequently traded on the Canadian auction market, they are in numerous private collections, and they are in some prominent Canadian museum collections.
Excerpts from AskArt Archives.